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We are looking for part-qualified (with at least two years of experience) or newly qualified patent attorneys who have experience in electronics drafting and prosecution.

Applicants with a background in Physics/Theoretical Physics, Electrical Engineering,  Computer Science or Mathematics would be particularly suitable for the role. But we would also be happy to hear from anyone with a different degree background who has some software drafting experience.

If you join us as a part-qualified patent attorney, you will continue your training under the supervision of our Partners and Senior Associates. We have many locally-based clients so, even as a trainee, you will regularly meet with clients and inventors face-to-face or via a video call. These meetings will include discussions about new inventions and you will be involved in preparing the draft specifications. On behalf of our clients, we file and prosecute patent applications in the UK and Europe so you will gain real experience that is directly relevant to the professional exams you will undertake.

In addition to the practical training, our trainees are given all the support they need to qualify as UK and European patent attorneys. We combine in-house exam-specific tutorials with external courses, to help our trainees to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to qualify. There will also be opportunities to develop your practical skills, for example, by assisting our qualified attorneys when they participate in Oral Proceedings at the EPO.

If you join us as a newly-qualified patent attorney, you will also be involved with patent drafting and prosecution, and depending on your level of experience, may soon be given the opportunity to manage clients.

Key Responsibilities

At Appleyard Lees, you’ll be working to protect the ground-breaking innovation of some of the world’s most well-known tech companies such as Samsung. Many of our clients are developing exciting new Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. You don’t need to have a degree in this space to join our team – in fact, most of us don’t!  But, it will help if you have gained experience in drafting and prosecuting software patent applications, and knowledge of UK, European and US software patenting guidelines.  Although we also work on physics-, electronics- and mechanical-based inventions, the bulk of our work is software-based.

Our work can sometimes be multi-disciplinary and so you will need to work with attorneys in other disciplines. For example, some of our clients use AI to identify and develop new drugs, use mathematics/statistics to diagnose diseases or predict treatment efficacy, or use software to control medical robotic devices. So, in addition to the technical skills, you will need to have good people skills and be able to work in a team.

Skills Knowledge and Expertise

  • Ideally, you will have completed the Foundation Certificate exams (or equivalent) and the EQE pre-exam.
  • Have an undergraduate degree or PhD in Physics/Theoretical Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics or similar.
  • Experience in drafting and prosecuting in the software space.
  • Good communicator both in writing and verbally.


We pride ourselves on being small and friendly enough for you to get to know everyone – but big enough to offer you great career prospects. We will assign you with a mentor who will be able to provide professional and personal support throughout your training contract. Providing people with a mentor is a critical part of enabling development and knowing if individuals are ‘on track’ in terms of their career path and progression, it also helps with improving knowledge and skills.

Aside from this, we will fund all of your training including memberships, exams, courses and conferences. We also encourage our technical teams to write articles for our Greenshoots platform and take part in podcasts.

Other benefits we offer include:

  • 34-hour working week
  • Agile working – 2 days in the office
  • Annual salary review
  • 25 days annual leave + bank holidays
  • Life assurance
  • Healthcare cash plan
  • Social outings – summer parties, AL Junior events, Christmas party and more
  • A voucher on your birthday
  • Charity events – games nights and fuddles
  • A friendly and inclusive place to work and learn

About Appleyard Lees

Appleyard Lees is a leading intellectual property law firm with over fifty patent and trade mark attorneys and litigators across offices in Halifax, Leeds, Manchester, and Cambridge.

We provide a full range of intellectual property (IP) services covering patents, trade marks, designs and copyright in the UK, Europe and worldwide. We use our technical and legal skills, and many years of experience, to identify and protect IP assets and to uncover and eliminate the risks posed by other people’s IP rights.

Who we are, and what we do – but also, how we do it – makes us distinctive.

Our clients include some of the world’s most exciting innovators, largest companies, and household names, with a number of clients obtaining Fortune 500, Fortune Global 2000, FTSE 100, FTSE 250, and Forbes Global 2000 status. Our clients operate across a diverse collection of industries, including chemicals, retail, consumer goods, electronics, software, bio and life sciences, pharmaceuticals, metals, and heavy industry, higher education, and hospitality, leisure, and tourism.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) has always been part of the core values of Appleyard Lees.  To us, diversity is not just a box-ticking exercise, it is a core part of our firm’s values. Diversity of people means diversity of ideas and perspectives, and these allow us to be more creative and flexible as a business.

We welcome the unique contribution that a diverse workforce will bring to our firm and actively encourage applications from all talented people – however your talent is packaged, whatever your background or circumstance and regardless of how you identify.

  • Job Type: Experienced Job
  • Career Sector: Patents
  • Area of Specialism: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Electronics, Physics
  • Experience Level: Part Qualified 4-5 Years
  • Location: Manchester city centre
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Employment Type: Full Time
  • Date Posted: 11 Dec 2023
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